As some of you know, Doug has set me up with a blog. This past Sunday Marty and I did a crazy fun thing. We went to Toronto for the day to see an exhibit that included some of the terra cotta warriors from X’ian in China. And let’s be very clear on this: it was Marty who noticed the ad from the Royal Ontario Museum first and suggested it! Anyway, I thought I would do a “test run” on the blog to all of my subscribers. Let me know what you think.
To start with, we need a bit of history or background on these incredible terra cotta warriors. In 221 BC Ying Zheng who was the King of Qin (a province in China) conquered the rest of China and proclaimed himself the First Emperor of China. His reign lasted until his death in 206 BC.
He had his entire world re-created underground to take with him when he passed away. He had not only his palace re-created but life size versions of 6000 terra cotta warriors and 2000 horses as well as a garden with a brook, 46 life sized water birds (swans, geese and cranes) and another 15 life size terra cotta figures.
This largest tomb complex ever created was found by accident 22 centuries after it was buried while digging for a well. (It reminded me of the story of the Lod mosaic which was found in Israel by accident while digging to expand a road. The Lod mosaic is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum and if you haven’t seen it, this is a much shorter trip and definitely worth seeing.) At this point in China 180 pits have been found, but only 3 have actually been excavated so far. In China the terra cotta warriors are all lined up. The pictures that I’ve seen look amazing so I was very intriqued to see this exhibit. Unfortunately, the museum did not allow photographs so I don’t have any photos to show you.
The exhibit was fascinating in that it gave all the details of the history of the area, both before, during and after Ying Zheng’s reign. It included lots of small artifacts that have been excavated; many in wonderful condition. I read everything very carefully, while biding my time and waiting to encounter the terra cotta warriors in the last room. I must admit it was a bit of a let down when I got there. I was expecting to see rows of warriors as in China. I guess I wasn’t thinking too clearly. China sent 8 warriors and 2 horses. They are all life size and in incredible condition; great to see but not quite what I was hoping for.
So naturally we needed a place to go for lunch after the exhibit. Seemed like Chinese food was the appropriate way to go. By luck (?) we wound up at a seafood restaurant called Wah Sing which has won several awards in Toronto. We were touted on the lobster dish (with ginger and scallions) which was wonderful. We also had a terrific shrimp dish. BTW, we were the only Caucasians in the restaurant (and it got increasingly full as we ate); always a good sign in my opinion. It was a lovely way to end our day in Toronto. As an aside, as we came out of the museum we easily hailed a cab to go to Chinatown. We mentioned to the driver that we would be going to the airport after lunch. He volunteered to return in an hour and retrieve us. As we were paying the bill, the driver walked into the restaurant to let us know he was there.
So that was our fun crazy day last Sunday. It combined my favorite activities: traveling, museum visit and good food. Let me know what you think of our day and, more importantly, the new format of my postings.
PS I haven’t figured out how to place the photos where I want them in the blog. IT Department: please help.